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Thousands join Kennedy's relations in New Ross for JFK 50 celebrations

The only surviving daughter of US President John F Kennedy, Caroline, and his grandchildren will be in New Ross today for the celebrations.

Jack and Tatiana with their mother and the only surviving daughter of US President John F Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, at the launch of the JFK Homecomming Exhibition this week.
Jack and Tatiana with their mother and the only surviving daughter of US President John F Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, at the launch of the JFK Homecomming Exhibition this week.

FIFTY YEARS AGO on 26 June, 1963, US President John F. Kennedy arrived in Ireland for a four-day visit.

In Dublin alone, half of the city’s population came out to greet him. Over 100,000 people made their way to Cork, Limerick and Galway to catch a glimpse of the US President, while in Wexford, the town’s 12,000 strong population swelled to 30,000 on 27 June, the day he visited the Kennedy family’s ancestral home in Dunganstown.

Today, thousands are set to descend on New Ross in Co Wexford to join Kennedy’s relations to mark the anniversary of his visit.

The ‘Emigrant Flame’, the only ever light taken from JFK’s grave, will be carried along the newly developed boardwalk in a relay involving members of Special Olympics Ireland, the United States Peace Corps, members of the Wexford community and New Ross Town Council.

Jack and Tatiana with their mother and the only surviving daughter of US President John F Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, at the launch of the JFK Homecomming Exhibition this week. (Pic: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

The flame will then be handed to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Caroline Kennedy daughter of President Kennedy and Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith who will light the Emigrant Flame monument.

There will also be loads of music, entertainment and literature on the quayside in New Ross, the ancestral hometown of John F. Kennedy, and a flypast by the Irish Air Corps.

“It is fitting that in the year of The Gathering, when we celebrate Irish connections, that this symbol [the 'Emigrant Flame'] of one of its most famous sons has arrived to remind us of the still-potent bonds that exist between Ireland and the US,” said Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland.

JFK having a nice cup of tea during his last visit to Ireland in 1963. (Pic: www.JFK50Ireland.com)

Pics: Only ever flame taken from JFK’s grave lands in Ireland for JFK 50>

Read: We found the boy smiling up at JFK during his visit to Ireland in 1963>

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Amy Croffey

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